A nutritionist with a Swindon clinic has released a list of her top tips for making healthy packed lunches for children for the autumn term.
Caroline Peyton, who is also a naturopath, has clinics in Swindon and the Cotswolds as well as working online.
She has put together some advice for parents in Swindon to help them create healthier lunches for their children.
Caroline says lunch needs to keep a child sustained and alert through afternoon lessons and activities.
She ackonwledges that it can be tempting to add sweet treats, however Caroline says these will contribute to tiredness, poor concentration and even irritability as it can send children's blood sugar out of balance.
To help parents in this position the nutritionist has come up with seven suggestions which all contain fibrous vegetables, protein and good fats.
Caroline said: "These are all essential for your child’s good health and help to keep blood sugar stable. This will help to keep your child focused and calm.
"This will also help with planning what to buy as affordably as possible in the weekly, or monthly, family shop."
Caroline's list of lunchbox tips are as follows:
- Create a deli style snack box with sunflower seeds, boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, small pot of hummus and seeded crackers or oat cakes.
- Cook chicken wings and boiled eggs in advance (they’ll keep in the fridge for a couple of days) to take as a snack or part of the lunch box. These are excellent sources of protein.
- Pasta (ideally wholegrain or gluten free made from lentils or chickpeas) and broccoli can be cooked the night before, stirred with a low sugar tomato sauce with added tinned tuna or salmon.
- Slice wholemeal pitta bread and use as a dip with hummus alongside cucumber and red pepper sticks. Many children love this snack.
- Make a salad with cooked mixed beans (from a tin), tomatoes, pitted olives and tomatoes. Make a salad dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and mixed herbs and stir through.
- Use gluten free wraps like sweet potato, add pesto, chicken slices and lettuce for a tasty sandwich alternative.
- For colder days make a lentil vegetable soup, kept warm in a small flask. Vegetable soup will keep in the fridge for a few days.
The nutritionist adds that the best lower sugar fruits are small apples or pears (sliced with a squeeze of lemon juice and wrapped in tinfoil), a satsuma or a small pot of berries.
Caroline's Swindon clinic Woodstreet Wellbeing, can be found in Old Town.